Combined bands concert “Friendship Through Music”

There’s music in the air Sunday evening as the Japan Self Defense Forces and III Marine Expeditionary Force present “The Planets” by Gustav Holst at a combined concert, Sunday.

The 7 p.m. event at the Okinawa Civic Hall is free, although tickets are required and are available at the III MEF Band Hall next to the ocean Breeze on Camp Foster. Japanese may request tickets from the band’s community relations specialist, Mr. Masaaki Ishiki, (098) 970-4220.

The 17th Annual Combined Concert features Marines from the III Marine Expeditionary Force Band and “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band, as well as members of the Band of the 15th Japanese Ground Self Defense Force. Aside from Gustav Holst’s “The Planets”, the two bands will feature an original composition from Japanese composer Satoshi Yagisawa, entitled “Manchu Picchu”. The bands will also entertain with traditional American and Japanese tunes.

More than 1,500 are expected to join the concert at the Okinawa Civic Hall. The 15th Band at Camp Naha was formerly known as the 1st Combined Brigade Band until reorganized two years ago. Its heritage ranges from concert band, marching band and jazz band, to smaller combos performing a wide variety of styles ranging from jazz to Japanese, Okinawan and pop. Conductor 1st Lt. Kawano heads the band.

On the III MEF side, the concert band is under the baton of Chief Warrant Officer 2 Stephen B. Giove. Giove arrived in 2010 after serving as the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Band in Twenty-nine Palms.